Is Diesel Still the MPG King? 2016 Nissan Titan XD Gas vs. Diesel Towing MPG Review

Turbo-diesel pickup trucks have traditionally been the kings of highway towing fuel efficiency. Is this still the case, and how big is their economy advantage? This is a unique opportunity to compare two 2016 Nissan Titan XDs on our 100-mile highway mpg loop. One is powered by the 5.0L Cummins turbo-diesel V8, and the other sports a 5.6L gasoline V8 under its hood. Both of these trucks are 4×4 crew cabs. The diesel truck is an SL model, the gasser is a PRO-4X version.

The all-new Titan XD made its debut with the 5.0L Cummins V8. This motor is rated at 310 horsepower and 555 lb-ft of torque. It’s backed up by a heavy duty 6-speed Aisin automatic transmission. The 5.6L Endurance V8 is only now coming online. This engine shares its displacement and engine block with the outgoing Titan. That’s where the similarities end. The updated 5.6L V8 puts out 390 horsepower and 401 lb-ft of torque. The gas V8 is paired with a 7-speed automatic transmission.

2016 nissan titan gas versus diesel mpg comparison review
2016 Nissan Titan XD: Gas vs. Diesel

So which one of these truck is more efficient on the highway? We ran both trucks empty and hooked up to a 7,000 lbs CM Trailers Cargo Mate trailer on the same day.

We are now using a new trailer and a new trailer weight for the full-size truck mpg testing. However, all other elements of the test remain the same. We are filling up at the same truck stop using the “double-click” method, running at 70 mph on the highway empty and loaded using cruise control, and getting the real-world numbers at the pump.

Check out the video to get all the results.